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Tottenham report: Kalidou Koulibaly lined up, as Antonio Conte looks to fix defence

Tottenham target Kalidou Koulibaly
(Image credit: PA)

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte is looking at defensive reinforcements – with Napoli stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly one option.

That's according to football.london, who say that the 30-year-old defender – who has been linked with Premier League sides throughout his career – could well be on the shortlist for Conte, who waxed lyrical of the player when he managed in Serie A.

“For me, Koulibaly is among the two strongest defenders in the world,” Conte said while Inter Milan manager, “He is really very, very strong. I wanted to take him at Chelsea. And he has grown even more.”

Tottenham have looked a little weak defensively in recent months, though the new manager has helped to shore up the backline. There's a general feeling, however, that a new leader is needed at centre-back.

Eric Dier has become a key man in the defence already for Conte, having started regularly for the Italian. With his experience in three-man backlines, the England man is probably the first defender on the team sheet for Tottenham at the moment.

The youthful Japhet Tanganga has impressed both as a right-back and on the right side of a back three, though lacks experience. Ben Davies has the ability to play the same roles on the opposite side, while Davinson Sanchez has come back into the team, too. Joe Roden and summer buy Cristian Romero complete the defensive options.

Koulibaly, however, is extremely physical and an excellent passer, as well as a natural leader at the back. Now in his 30s, the Senegalese might not be as expensive as he once was. 

The Napoli man is valued at £40m on Transfermarkt – but his contract expires in 2023.

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Mark White

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.